Growing up surrounded by numerous (XY) chromosomes meant I did not feel the rush to be romantically involved with anyone till I was 18 (much to the disappointment of many). This could also be attributed to the fact that my parents are strict and unlike my brothers, I was always afraid of getting caught. I eventually had my first relationship and it was sweet and innocent for the most part 🙂 but like everything else it came to an end. Now younger me was quite fortunate, the men around me were most often around to make sure I was protected, they always did it no matter how irritating it would be. My 13 year old self would be nervously talking to a boy when my older brother decides to pop up ‘to get something from me‘ or my younger brother screams my name from the balcony. More often than not though, they had been sent by the Mzee. They were always there, until they couldn’t be.

I am the daughter of a man who is more traditional than most; This means that there were certain topics he could not dare bring up with me, boys being one of them. However, the Sunday after I finished my high school exams he brought it up without me realising it. He took it upon himself to warn me of how dangerous men can be…

‘When you go out here are some rules to follow always…

  1. Buy your own drinks
  2. If anyone offers to buy you a drink, make sure it is opened in front of your eyes
  3. If you leave your drink to go to the toilet, don’t bother with it once you come back… buy another one
  4. Do not leave anyone with your drink, carry it with you if you can even to the dance floor.
  5. When you’re going out even if its during the day, make sure you have enough money to settle your half of the bill. Never rely on any man’

You see, what most boys don’t understand is that part of the reason I tend to be picky with who I decide to get involved with is because his words are always ringing in my head. The minute I sense something is off with a guy, thats the end of the road… The unfortunate part about growing up though, is that there is no blueprint to life. Those who care enough can give us advice but most times it is only experience that will teach you a lesson. No matter how good you are, or how much you try to keep yourself safe.

I went into university with the words from my father constantly ringing in my ear anytime I went out. Obviously due to society’s tendency to victim blame, I also make sure that I am dressed appropriately enough for the event but not to the extent that I would encourage a man to approach me. From experience though, men will always grab whoever they like no matter what they are dressed in. In fact, refusing their advances or fighting back will only lead you into more trouble. Being told no, is like a hot slap to their face, it angers them and the one way they know how to take care of their bruised ego is to retaliate; either through words or actions. Let me introduce you to three different guys I have have met.

  1. The Nice Guy/ Gentleman:  I met him during my first year of University. To me, he was only ever going to be a friend, but he saw things in a different light. We met outside my accommodation the first time, then the next was inside a club. We began talking and it was strictly on friendly basis, until two weeks later he messaged me saying ‘You know I like you‘. It came as a shock so all I could think of replying was ‘Uh, thank you‘. As can be expected, he didn’t take that too well and the conversation turned a bit nasty. He later apologised and we tried going back to how things were. Unfortunately he was good friends with my flatmate and was over pretty much all the time. He eventually managed to get a kiss during a party, but that only served to make it clear for me that I was not at all attracted to him. I gently broke it down to him the next day and he seemed to take it well until he didn’t. Messages came flooding  in, filled with insults. He called me a user and said that he had put off so much time from his final project and topped it off by saying that he only wanted to treat me like a queen . He would later tell me as he apologised, that back home, he never had to try so hard to get a woman’s attention and that I frustrated him to the point he couldn’t hold back the insults. I had to make it clear that we are from two different countries and that he would need to respect me as a person, before eventually discontinuing conversation with him.


2. The Rich Guy/ Arrogant: This is by far the worst kind of guy I’ve met. In addition to descending from a highly misogynistic culture, his access to the amount of funds he ‘accidentally‘ mentioned one day makes him feel entitled and therefore expects everything to go his way. He got frustrated because he tried it with me, threw hints my way, offered to buy me and my friends as many drinks as we wanted but nothing was working. What he didn’t know is that my father has always ensured I understand the importance of being independent from any man. Defeated he tried the I love you card one night and proceeded to break down into tears claiming I hurt him so much (we barely talked though). Fed up, he resorted to try take my power from me buy forcing himself on me. It was a struggle I won’t lie, but fortunately he failed miserably. Unfortunately, his assault broke a huge part of me that I am still trying to recover from. Despite his numerous messages begging for forgiveness and still claiming his love for me,  we don’t talk/ associate anymore.


3. The Unusual one: I’ll stick with this title for lack of a more suitable description. See I’ve never met this guy before. He saw me on my friend’s Snapchat post, three years ago and decided he likes me. I’m really strict with who I allow to follow me on Snapchat, but after constantly pestering my friend for my number I allowed her to give him my username. He followed me but didn’t talk to me for a good number of months and I seemingly forgot about him up until I posted a book I was reading and he commented on it. He seemed interesting and so we began talking. It was on neutral ground so I didn’t see a reason to keep my guards up. I travelled and was cut off from the world for a month and our conversation inevitably died. He knew when I was back in Kenya, we had a brief conversation through my friend’s phone, but never actually met. So why then did he feel the need to call me at 3:00 a.m on New Years day to tell me that he loves me and wants us to be together? Thank God for bad network that day because I honestly have no idea what I would have said. When we had a proper conversation later, I told him that I don’t get into a relationship with someone I’ve never met and barely know, a comment which he took to heart because according to him ‘we had spoken enough for me to know him‘ and he added that ‘a relationship is the best way to get to know someone‘. I was adamant and he did’t like it, so to try persuade me he began sending messages that pointed the fact that two people are better together and can achieve much more than a single person. He went on to say that he had to see me soon, tried to convince me to get a plane ticket home and even offered to buy it for me because I was perfect for him. When he later found out that I was seeing someone, he became emotional saying he had tried to befriend me because he wanted me. My lack of responses to his messages after, had him trying to get my attention on all social media platforms. I eventually had enough and let him know. His response was emotional blackmail , claiming I looked down on him and that’s wrong because I don’t know how much he will achieve in future… Safe to say I don’t bother with him anymore, even when he tries messaging me.

I unfortunately had to painfully discover that men tend to be the same, they just have different ways of showing it. Had I been told this before? Yes. But as I said sometimes you just have to experience something for it to actually stick. These three examples I’ve shared are all the same. They couldn’t accept rejection and so they tried to hurt me in their own way, through words or actions. They had to make me suffer for a decision I made that was contrary to what they wanted.

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task since it consists principally in dealing with men’








Growing up, I was surrounded by men; The only girl in my family and 1/3 of female grandchildren out of a total of 15. With my mum constantly travelling for work, I was left under the care of my father and older brother. It therefore came as no surprise that I developed some behaviours that normally would be associated with the male species. I was very competitive and at times violent (Possibly due to the wrestling we’d watch together). My behaviour was very similar to those of my brothers from mode of dress to eating habits to what I considered fun…like jumping out of a moving car

However, I did not always ‘fit in with the boys’ considering the fact that I grew up in an African country. Family functions would always serve to remind me of my place in society… the kitchen, or serving men. It always happened that after arriving at the event and greeting the early guests, I was sent into the kitchen to ‘find some duties to do’ (yet most times my aunties would send me out of the kitchen), while my brothers and cousins sat down and socialised or even began eating whatever food was ready. I was always caught between the two sides but I could never let frustration get the better of me least I risked embarrassing my father’s name and so most times I would end up washing the hands of the guests which I actually did not mind since most came up with interesting stories most about my dad as a teenager.

Further division took place with the actual meal. According to tradition, there are specific parts of a goat reserved for either gender for example the back part is for men who are required to eat it clean and then pierce it. For women, the kidneys. My father’s younger brother, Uncle Kimani, never failed to bring me the kidneys of the goat that had lost its life to satisfy the tongues of the clan. As I sit here writing this, I can hear him shout for me from the grill where all men stood tasting the meat as it was being prepared ‘Wambui! come!’ (sometimes he’d track me down wherever I was). I always expected it and he never failed regardless of the location woe unto me if more than one goat had been slaughtered.

Don’t get me wrong, culture is a beautiful thing, it is what determines our perception of reality and hence it differs across regions, countries and continents. I love certain aspects of my culture, the ruracio ceremony, the clothes, the language.. its all simple amazing but not perfect. This has been said before my the strong women in society but what harm does it do to ask it again? How can a culture so beautiful have so much disregard for women? Why is it that we are only noticed when labour is required, men are hungry or want to please themselves? It is a known fact that African culture bends over backwards in favour of the man child and despite there being changes in society, this characteristic is inherent in us so much so that should my brothers happen to make a mess in the house, I will be called from wherever I am to clean it up because I am a woman.

I used to be a firm believer in culture and the methods my parents used to raise us. I knew that when I did, by God’s grace, get the chance to raise my own family it would be in the same manner albeit with some modifications. Can you blame me though? I was ignorant having grown up and educated in an institution that is so close-minded that it teaches young girls to carry themselves in a way that avoid temptation of men and that exposing your shoulders regardless of the weather is not right in the eye’s of God. An institution that makes you believe you should stick it out with your husband even when things are bad and that women should not play football. On the other hand, men are taught that they are providers for the family and that they should protect and guard their family name. They are taught that women should be submissive to them and that is where the problem lies. It creates this ‘whatever I say goes’ mentality in their head from which stem a lot of problems. It makes them disregard the feelings of the women in society unless of course its their mother, sister, daughter or close relative (and this isn’t even always the case) and worse blind them to the fact that women are people as well.

Now all this may have worked pre-colonial era its all that they knew and it kept the society in harmony, but it cannot work now. The internet, International Business and cultural exchange have led to globalisation. We have and are increasingly becoming a global village, people are more educated and we are no longer (for the most part) embracing collectivism. So in as much as increased interaction with foreign cultures might make us cling harder to our own own, we must accept the fact that certain aspects of it must be left with our ancestors. Continuation of this culture can be through the languages, the food, the stories, the rites and rituals (some of them).

Having had the chance to experience more than one foreign culture has taught me one fundamental lesson; change will happen whether you like it or not, that does not mean we strive to fit in with everyone else. Instead, we should accept the change as it happens and adjust accordingly.




I am still fundraising for Wezesha Binti to keep 100 young girls in school in Busia County, Kenya. To read more follow the link: FUNDRAISING FOR WEZESHA BINTI

To donate:

GoFundMe Page: Empower Girls through Wezesha Binti

M-Changa (for M-Pesa/ Airtel money) donations: Empower Girls through Wezesha Binti














One major theme I set for my year is ‘escaping the comfort zone.’ I hope to achieve this by either trying out new things, meeting new people e.t.c or by doing the same thing or maintaining relationships from a different angle.

My year started off on a really rough patch but I just recently started to feel my energy levels rising and so I’ve decided to FINALLY start working on my projects. So here goes the first one:

I am a 2019 Ambassador for Face of Kenya UK. This is a forum that was designed to bring community cohesion to Kenyans in the diaspora through its philanthropic nature. To do so, they encourage the youth to fundraise for any charity back home and 100% of funds collected are given to the charity.

To find out more about Face of Kenya, click here

My chosen charity is Wezesha Binti, a social organisation that was started by a former school mate, Tabitha Nakholi, last year. Her organisation seeks to empower young underprivileged  girls to take control of their reproductive health by providing access to proper menstrual health management as well as train them on sexual and reproductive health.

They do this through the Binti Box initiative which ensures that the girls remain in school by providing them with the necessities that helps them get through their period each month.

One Binti Box goes for KSH. 1,000 (approximately £7) and contains:

a. 1 draw-string bag

b. 2 moisture barrier shields

c. 8 absorbent tri-fold pads

d. 1 wash cloth

e. 2 pairs of panties

f. 1 PVC small pouch

g. 1 visual instruction sheet.

My goal is to try raise at least £1,000 by July 2019 which will help in providing about 140 Binti Boxes. I kindly appeal to everyone reading this to donate whatever amount they are comfortable with donating and share this with as many people as possible to help me attain my goal.

Wezesha Binti Launch-171.jpg

During the Launch of Wezesha Binti last year

I have set up two fundraising accounts suitable for those in the diaspora as well as those in Kenya.

  1. GoFundMe.

For those who would find it easier to donate using Credit/Debit cards:

Donate Here

2. Mchanga

For those who would prefer using Mpesa, Airtel Money, Paypal or Visa cards to donate:

Donate Here


I would like to thank everyone who supports me in any way either by reading this, donating or sharing my fundraiser.




Well would you look at that, its November, two months left to the end of this year… Time really is flying isn’t it?

While having dinner at a friend’s house recently, one of the conversations that came up was one we may all be familiar with… of a friend who happened to leave the country for studies and unfortunately ended up getting involved with drugs, and had to drop out. Fortunately the person upon returning was able to get back on his feet and turn his life around.

However, what inspired this post was a comment my friend happened to make…

“Yeah well he wasted 5 years of his life”

But did he really? 

Obviously in comparison to his friends, he would be considered to be ‘behind in life’. I personally however do not believe there’s anything like having ‘wasted’ time in your life. Let me explain why:

Where you are in this given moment, is exactly where you’re supposed to be in order to make a difference in this world’ – Me

I started saying this phrase when some of my mum’s friends would question why I was going into university after their children, yet we started school together. The comparison used to really weigh in on me, and I began feeling slightly embarrassed.

‘Have I let down my parents?’

‘Will I never be able to make something out of myself because I’m behind?’

‘Oh no, now they’ll get ahead with life and I’ll be left behind’

These are just some of the questions that would instantly flow through my mind at the time, and honestly they are quite depressing.

However, two years later, I am appreciative of where I am and how much I have matured. I would definitely not be the same person had I rushed into university. All the people I’ve met and activities I have participated have shaped me into who I am today. In fact, this blog is as a result of me going to University when I did, I’d never have gathered the courage to share my thoughts with you if otherwise.

Same goes for the guy in the story, for him to get to where he is today, he had to go through what he did for those 5 years which people claim he wasted. They weren’t a waste as they taught him valuable lessons that hopefully could be a driving factor to his influence on the world. Those 5 years steered him in the direction he is destined to be going. He had to lose himself  first to find his calling.

The fact that we each have different paths and callings is the reason I do not believe in the phrase ‘You’re losing time’. The main reason we are so used to this is because we enjoy comparing our life to that of the person next to us; very illogical seeing as we are different in almost every aspect. Different purposes, different goals.

Next time you think that you’re losing time by postponing a major event in your life such as making the decision to go into University, Start a business or even get married, stop and ask yourself:

  1. Who am I comparing myself to?
  2. Why do I feel pressured to do this?
  3. Am I ready to do this?

I believe that asking yourself this will help you realise that this life you’re  living is your own, and no one should rush or pressure you to doing things that you do not feel prepared to do. There is a reason for everything including the fact that you don’t feel  ready. Possibly that’s not the path you should be following or it isn’t the right time for you.

Hesitation is also an answer

Recently, Ariana Grande released a song that as lyrics I believe resonate with what I’m trying to say.

The song is called ‘thank u, next

‘I got so much love, got so much patience…

I’ve learnt from my pain, I’ve turned out amazing’

Have a listen to it 🙂


I really like this picture; The fact I could look so calm and collected when I was really a wreck on the inside is amazing.




‘ The prerequisite for spending time with people is that they will feed your flame’ – Will Smith.

Sometimes I sit and reflect on these words, wishing that I had heard them early last year;  I probably would have avoided the pain and a near-depressing episode. But when I really think about it, everything happens for a reason, you either gain something or you lose. Either way though, valuable lessons are learnt.

In this digital age, we are definitely blessed to have social media platforms which we use to share information as well as show our love and appreciation for those we consider dear to us. We celebrate them on a daily basis for being there with us.. in good times and in sickness and in health. But as with everything else, we tend to only talk about the good times; avoiding even within ourselves discussing the impact of a toxic friendship.

Its taken me months to begin scrambling out of the dark pit I found myself in after a betrayal I was not in any way prepared for. Now I’ll be honest, I saw ALL the red flags, {and they were plenty}, but as always I choose to see the good in someone and give them fresh slates all while promising myself that it would be the final one. It became a cycle, 1 and a half years, but one that had to be broken eventually.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes saying ‘You could have just stopped being friends.  You should have walked away.’ If only it was that easy. Its not in anyone’s conscience to just up and leave someone who told you they suffer from a mental disorder and has in fact self-harmed in front of you. How do you gather up the strength to ignore your conscience and leave? How do you shut off from their cries for help? How do you walk away, with the thoughts of something going wrong at the forefront of your thoughts? Reality is, you can’t do it, in as much as you may want to.. not at first anyway. You first have to fall so far down the pit of goodwill before realising that the end only comes when you have given everything of yourself and there’s nothing left.

There are some signs to look out for that I’ve picked up along the way, both from this incident and another. Hopefully they may help someone else.


  1. Non-Supportive

Toxic friends will not support anything about you, or if they do it will be half heartedly; as though they’ve been forced

2.   Competitive

Anything you have or want, they’ll for some strange reason get it as well or tend to try get it before you

3. Will always try bring you down

Thing about this one is that it happens so subtly; can easily be brushed off as banter. The worst part is if they touch on your insecurities. This is the absolute red flag for me, any genuine friend should never; not even in a joking way bring up any of the insecurities you felt comfortable discussing with them.

4. Will only be your friend when its convenient for them

They have a problem or are bored? They’ll hit you up even when they know its forcing you to go out of your way.. because you’re the good friend. You have a problem? Yeah deal with it yourself; or even worse try convince you that you’re overreacting and whatever is bothering you is really minor even when its not.

The truth is though, everyone is really just looking out for themselves and they can’t be blamed for that. There are good people out there; sometimes you just have to experience the negative ones so that you can truly appreciate the good ones that come along or have been there the entire time.


So unrelated, but enjoy this picture of me in my dad’s coat during simpler times.



When asked what home is to them, a vast majority of people would respond by saying ‘Its where I live’ – a structure. While that in itself is an answer, it may not be the most accurate response. (Everyone is entitled to their own opinion).

Sometimes, your home in its physical sense is just that, a structure with which you find your shelter from horrible weather, the place you have your own/ shared place on which to lay your head after a long day, it doesn’t feel like how a home should. Instead of providing you with the taste of peace and love, you arrive there just to find a continuation of all the negative energy surrounding you in the outside world.

You may ask, what is home to you then?

The past few months have been quite tough for me. It is in these dark moments that I began my journey HOME. I don’t live with my parents majority of the year and so finding home wasn’t a matter of walking into my parents’ home to plenty of food and drink. It was a matter of finding myself, what I love and what I don’t, figuring out why I was placed on this earth, all while going about my daily life.

I can’t say that I’m home yet, but I’m definitely closer than I was when this year begun. It definitely was thanks to my trying period this year that I realised how far away from home I was. It took life shoving me straight into a storm that helped me open my eyes. When the storm finally began to settle, I decided its time to find my way home.

Some of the few landmarks that have helped me along the way include:

  • Being comfortable with myself – This is something I thought I was okay with but turns out I still need to practice it a bit more. Getting to this point hasn’t been easy; there are days I feel like I’m the sh*t and then proceed to feel completely disgusted with myself the very next day; literally less than 12 hours later. It just happens and its completely normal. As I wrote in a previous post { INSECURITY; IT EATS YOU FROM INSIDE.} sometimes those we think are close to us, can use our insecurities to try bring us down. But when you’re comfortable with yourself and your flaws, keeping in mind that no one is perfect, you won’t let this phase you and hence will be one step closer to being comfortable with yourself.
  • Liberating myself from the ‘group mentality’ – This occurs when individuals act collectively, mostly without sense of direction. I don’t think we realise how easy it can be for anyone to fall into group think; more so with those who may suffer from low self- confidence. Speaking from experience, it begins when you agree to something that deep down know you’d rather not, or when you’re made to feel that something you love isn’t worthy of attention. You’re afraid to speak out, so you just go along with it. Slowly and without realising it, your flame is extinguished and you may no longer see the need of doing what you love. One way of escaping this is learning to speak out, even when you’re afraid to. Practice this often, and eventually it’ll become like second nature to you. Another way is:
  • Spending time with and by yourself. – The best way to discover and understand yourself is to actually spend time alone. Just like you’d go on dates with people to get to know them more, so should you do that with yourself. Despite what society may try make us believe, its not weird to take yourself on dates and enjoy your own company. Most time it is what we truly need. We get to recollect our thoughts and do whatever we feel like without the fear of letting others down or feeling rushed at some place because the other person you’re with just has to get home. Other times, its best to just curl up into a ball, under the bedsheets and watch all the movies we love. One can also choose to sleep, read or catch up on the hobbies that their busy life has been keeping them away from.

‘ We need quiet time to examine ourselves openly and honestly- spending time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself  and create order’- Susan L. Taylor

  •  Finding your outlet – If you’re like me, and I’m sure a good number of you are, opening up is not easy; in fact it may possibly not even be an option. Its not that the people around you aren’t trustworthy; you’ve just secured the position of the strong one/ the one who seems to have their life in order, but you know that thats not necessarily true. That being said, it is very easy to get worn down by the obstacles life throws your way. To avoid breaking down, its important to have some kind of outlet. For me, its the gym. There’s something about pushing beyond my limits and breaking down the barriers my own mind creates that makes it just a little bit easier to breathe. Like I said above, the past few months have been somehow dark, and were getting darker with each passing day. I had taken a break from the gym to go on my volunteering expedition, and things seemed okay because I was distracted and disconnected. Once I was back, everything came rushing back, almost all at once and brought with them new obstacles, I needed to let it out. Getting back to the gym has been painful yes, but I feel lighter, both physically and mentally. I’ve come to appreciate it as my space; I can be distracted but at the same time clear my mind enough to try sort out the things that are bothering me.
  • Knowing your people- You know those people you can be yourself around? The ones who you don’t need to talk to everyday but you’ll always try to be there for one another when need be. Those are the ones you keep close to your heart. Why? Because when you’re around them, you feel at home. Coming back for the holidays has definitely been refreshing for me. I’ve managed to meet most of my people and I can say for a fact that I feel more at peace now than I was before. This is something I noticed after my best friend came visiting last week. Being able to unpack and open up was one thing i didn’t realise I needed. We don’t always have the best responses and in fact may find ourselves with no response to certain situations, but I’ve come to appreciate that someones presence or listening ear may be the one thing you need.
  • Being gentle on yourself–  I’ll just leave this to my KIPEPEO, to explain it here : GENTLE  

In summary what am I saying?

Home, is definitely wherever your heart is. Its with those you hold dear to yourself; be it friends or family. Home however, starts with you. You begin building your home by working on yourself, showing yourself love and doing what excites you. From there you attract those who resonate with you and are willing to help you build and vice versa. However, just like the physical structure, your home will attract those with ill intentions, the ones who will want to bring you down. To prevent that, you definitely need to ensure your barriers are high enough to block them out.

Find yourself, build your home and ensure that you secure it as well. 🙂

Home should feel like the taste of a cold milkshake from Java on a hot day.



Jet-lag has had me sleeping continuously for the past 3 days since my arrival back into the U.K and it’s definitely not done with me just yet. I’m not complaining though, anyone who knows me knows that if presented with a choice of two activities, one being sleep, I’d always choose sleep. However, falling asleep at the weirdest times in the most uncomfortable places isn’t anything I signed up for. Fiji, was, as you’ll soon find out definitely worth it.

Departing from London’s busy Heathrow airport, was nothing  compared to my arrival into Fiji’s Nandi International airport. Of all the landings I’ve ever experienced, Fiji definitely wins by a landslide for the most beautiful views from above. It starts, all water and then gradually as you approach one of the main islands, Viti Levu, land appears from the water in the most magnificent of ways, and suddenly you see signs of human life; the green of the hills, the grey of the mabati sheets (corrugated iron) that they use to build their bures (houses) and cars on the road. Even then, you are definitely not prepared for what awaits you when you actually step foot on the island. Travelling for 28+ hours is no easy feat, but, and feel free to quote me on this, the destination is definitely worth the length of that journey.

If you travel often, you know the worst part about arriving your destination is meeting the immigration officers. It’s quite intimidating because one wrong word and they’re onto your case. Well Fijians do things very differently, as you walk into the immigration section, you are welcomed with live acoustic music and wide smiles. This one simple act definitely lessens your nerves which you later discover weren’t necessary since the immigration officers themselves are quite friendly. Added bonus to this trip was the fact that Kenya (and a number of other countries) is visa-exempt. For the first time I didn’t have to go through the stress of obtaining a visa to enter a country. All you need is your passport and flight ticket.


The men usually wear shirts and a Sarong.

If I show you a world map, would you be able to locate Fiji?

I wouldn’t be surprised that a majority of people have no idea where Fiji is. In fact I can bet 90% of people only know of Fiji because of their Rugby 7s team.


Photo courtesy of

Located at the South Pacific, Fiji appears literally as a dot (or in our case, the star) on the world map. It however, is made up of 322 islands, the biggest being Viti Levu, which is where the capital, Suva, is located and Vanua Levu. Being in Fiji made me realise that the Fijians are in their own bubble whether or not they realise it themselves. They are awake when everyone else is asleep and asleep when the rest of the world is awake. To make it a bit more clearer, Fiji is a good 9 hours ahead of Kenya. In all honesty, time difference is one of the many advantages Fiji has; that and the distance between them and the rest of the world. (Chinese have however found heir way there as they have everywhere else 🙂 )

I had the opportunity of visiting Fiji during their ‘winter’ period. I say this lightly because I was sweating profusely by the time I disembarked from that plane and made my way into immigration. It was only 8 a.m and the temperatures were already as high as  24 degrees celsius . However, the heat was just a slight inconvenience which I got used to over time.

Aki nibebee Unga ya chapati na ugali. Na usisahau majani chai na..’  ( Please bring for me Chapati*and ugali* flour. and don’t forget..). This is the most common request you’ll hear anyone living abroad give to another travelling to them from the motherland. It’s not even surprising that we may be violating customs by bringing in foodstuffs from outside the destination country, but they don’t say anything so we don’t bother to be cautious..right?

Well, being an island far away from everyone else, Fiji strives to protect her biosphere. This is evident because before you can proceed to the arrivals terminal of the airport, you have to go through screening. The biosphere officers take great caution on what can enter the country. In fact you have to declare if:

  1. You have visited a farm in the days prior to arrival in Fiji.
  2. You have in your possession any tinned food/ fruits.
  3. You have anything else that is restricted in Fiji.

Refusing to declare and being found with anything illegal results in a thorough search of you and your bags and, if anything is found imposition of a heavy fine which must be paid in cash at the moment.

Once you leave the airport, it’s a breath of fresh air. The cool breeze coming in through the windows to cool you down, the warm smiles and waves of pedestrians who shout “Bula!” when they see you and all that topped up by the smooth roads you travel on. I did not encounter one single pothole during my stay in Fiji. To say I was impressed would be a lie, I was more than that and slightly embarrassed when I compared what I was seeing to the current state of Kenya’s infrastructure.

The long drive towards Suva (capital city) and as well towards Namosi Highlands (where I stayed for 3 weeks), left me absolutely speechless. The Pacific Ocean, a deep blue farther out, blended seamlessly with the lighter blue closer to the shore and looked magnificent on the right side of the road. While on the left, hills, filled with grass, and trees, showing the different shades of green depending on where the sun’s rays touched. Seeing cows, and horses grazing peacefully and having the scent of food, especially the rice and meat cooking in the structures on the side of the road really made me realise how far away from home I actually was. It was at that moment that I kind of missed home, but I managed to push that feeling out of my mind and continued to take in the beauty of where I was.



Culture in its most basic form is defined as the way of life of a group of people.

By the time you’re visiting a new country, more often than not you’re either going to face a completely new culture, or one that is similar to yours in some ways. Whatever the case, do not go trying to make changes to suit your lifestyle. That is an insult to the community you are visiting. Instead, go with an open mind, ready to learn new things, try correct in a subtle manner but remember, if it’s not your culture you may have to take the long route to make any changes.

Fiji is one of the few countries I can say have really tried to preserve their culture while still adapting to changing times. Going to live in an actual Fijian village enabled me to experience this culture first hand and in turn learnt to appreciate where I am from even more.

Below is a summary of their culture, I found it not so different from the culture back in Kenya which helped me adjust quite fast.

Family – Basic unit of the clan. The father is the head of the family. He is so revered that he has his own door in the house located at the front of the house. Everyone else uses the family door or the kitchen door.

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This was our family picture taken in front of our house on the last day. The door shown is the father’s door. P.S Notice my Vava rocking the Dashiki I gifted him 🙂 

In addition to that, the village have a community hall where village meals are hosted, events are held and Kava (their traditional drink) is drunk for a large number of people


The villages are led by a chief, who sits at the front during ceremonies, and he is assisted by his Turanikoro (the speaker).

I must add that family is so important to them. When we were in the village we were assimilated into the families and I’m sure if any of us were to return, we’d be welcomed with open arms.

Roles – As it was with most African communities back in the day, roles in the Fijian culture are divided along gender lines. For example, men are responsible for building houses/ providing security while the women stay home and cook/clean/take care of the children. However, the girls still go to school and luckily are allowed to participate in sports. In fact when we were there we were honoured to meet one of the 2 girls in the province who plays rugby competitively with the boys.

Customs/ Rituals – Fijians always welcome you into their home when they are having a meal. Kerekere (sharing) means that the villagers are not supposed to let anyone pass their home without offering them some food or a place to stay if they are travelling. This works for them because they don’t really have the issue of insecurity.

In addition to that, as the pictures above show, everything is done on the floor. Meals are eaten while sitting on the floor and sleeping is also don’t on the floor. My volunteer sister and I however, were lucky to get a house with a bed in our own separate room, which our family insisted we use. If you walk into a room where people are sitting down, it is custom that you sit as well even though you’re there for a few minutes just because being at a level higher than the rest is a sign of power/esteem.


Our nene’s banana cake was hands down the best!

I know this is something that’s common everywhere, but it’s quite prominent in Fiji. Remove shoes before entering any building. That includes, houses, community hall, offices and even classrooms.

Dressing– While in the village setting and when working in schools, girls were not allowed to wear any revealing clothes, we were wearing maxi dresses and tops with sleeves or the sulu with a top. It was a bit more lenient for the guys as they could wear short, but had to wear shirts with sleeves as well. However, during solemn ceremonies they also had to wear their sulu or traditional sarong. In all honesty I didn’t find it hard adapting to this mode of dressing. I had carried my deras and they helped me survive !


Our school made outfits for us as a farewell gift,

We were allowed to wear knee-length shorts or 3/4  leggings when we went out for excursions but we had to cover up before getting into the village.


While by the river for swimming


Covering up before heading back to the village

Sports- I think I don’t have to say it. The fact that Fijians take sports very seriously. I mean if you look at their physiques you can tell that being active is just a part of their lives. However, it isn’t just in Rugby which is their national sport. They also play netball and volleyball very well. While in Fiji we had the chance of celebrating a national holiday with them. Would you believe me if I told you that it was their National sports day though? We spent that day competing with one of the villages and I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I tell you we lost pretty much all our games 🙂 but it was all fun.

It’s so unfortunate that I had to leave that little paradise and come back to my reality.

To Fiji, especially Vunidavo village all I can say is a massive Vinaka Vaka Levu (thank you very much) for the three weeks I spent with you and the lessons I learnt 🙂


Sunsets in the village were definitely the best. ❤


  • *Chapati and ugali are local dishes eaten in Kenya